Kenmore Elite HE3 or HE4 Dryer Not Heating-A DIY Guide

Last updated on September 28th, 2023 at 09:16 am

You should follow this guide if your Kenmore Elite HE3 or HE4 dryer is not heating. Because I will tell you the verified and tested solutions. This guide applies to both gas and electric dryers.

A few days ago, I came across a heating problem with my Kenmore Elite dryer. It was not heating up but was spinning the clothes. However, on the completion of the cycle, the load was coming out wet.

I have learned to deal with such issues. Therefore, I did not call any technician. Instead, I checked a few things and diagnosed the issue. Then, I applied some troubleshooting tricks.

I also read the user manual to find out the exact solutions. Finally, my dryer started working. In this article, I have compiled all the methods you can follow to fix your Kenmore Elite HE3 or HE4 dryer if it is not heating up.

Some Important Checks

Sometimes, the issue is very minor but we do not bother to check it. Hence, I recommend you check these basic things first;

  • The power cord of the dryer is plugged firmly into the wall power outlet.
  • The power cord is not frayed out, damaged, or brunt. Replace the cord if it is damaged.
  • The electric supply outlet is working well and delivering enough voltage.
  • Plug your dryer directly into the electric supply instead of using an extension.
  • Unplug your dryer from the power supply, wait 5-10 minutes and then plug it back again. This will reset the dryer.
  • Push your circuit breaker all the way OFF. Wait a few moments and turn it back ON.
  • The gas supply should be proper and sufficient in the case of a gas dryer.
  • Clean the lint screen after or before every cycle. A dirty or clogged lint screen also prevents the dryer from heating up.
  • If the dryer feels too hot, turn it OFF and let it cool down for a few minutes.
  • The dryer is not overloaded. Do not put too many clothes in one cycle. Reduce the load and check again.

A Secret Tip for Drying Well

None will tell you the secret of drying. I am presenting it as a bonus gift for you. Normally, we put all sorts of clothes together in our dryer. This affects the heating process.

The small clothing items get enough heat and dry out. But, the larger items remain wet. So, the hack is to put the clothes into different categories.

For example, you should put baby clothes in one cycle. Similarly, put jeans and pants in another cycle. Do not mix up the clothes of different sizes. This will ensure proper drying within a short time.

Kenmore Elite HE3 or HE4 Dryer Not Heating

Common Solutions for Kenmore Elite Gas and Electric Dryers

As you know, the Kenmore gas dryer uses gas as fuel. While the electric dryer works on electricity. So, some technical parts and the functioning of both dryers are different.

Here, I am listing some common solutions that are workable both for gas and electric dryer.

1. Enter the Diagnostics Mode

You can enter diagnostics mode on your Kenmore Elite dryer to detect the root cause. The process is as follows;

  1. Turn ON your dryer and connect the power supply properly.
  2. Press and hold the “Start” button for 5 seconds. Release it and wait for 5 seconds. Then, hold the button again for another five seconds.
  3. Repeat this process three times following the five seconds rule each time.
  4. If you have done it rightly, the machine should enter the diagnostics mode.
  5. However, if it fails to enter this mode, the hardware is defective. The control access panel or power control module needs to be replaced.

2. Replace Thermal Fuse

A thermal fuse acts as a safety device to protect your appliance from overheating. It may be located on the blower housing or near the heating element or burner.

Test the fuse for continuity using a Multimeter. If it shows no electrical current, the fuse is blown. Replacing the thermal fuse is easy and cheap.

While working on my Kenmore HE3 dryer, I found out that the thermal fuse was blown due to overheating that was caused by the clogged vent.

Hence, I suggest you to clean the vent of your dryer. It is necessary to avoid overheating.

3. Unblock and Clean the Vent

One of the most common causes of heating issues is a clogged vent. The heat cannot dissipate properly if the vent is blocked. As a result, the dryer gets overheated and stops working as a safety measure.

So, check the vent if anything is stuck inside. In many cases, a small clothing article traps in the vent. Moreover, the vent and the exhaust pipe can gather lint. Hence, they need a thorough cleaning.

Start a timed drying cycle on high heat. Now, check the exhaust vent outside. Place your hand to feel the airflow.

A little airflow indicates that the vent is blocked. Moreover, cut down the length of the exhaust pipe to prevent heat from residing inside.

Kenmore Elite Electric Dryer not Heating

The troubleshooting tricks mentioned below are applicable only to Kenmore Elite HE3 or HE4 electric dryers.

1. Test the Heating Element

The heating element is found in electric dryers. It is responsible for heating up the dryer. This component is in the form of a coil. If the coil breaks, the dryer stops heating.

It is one of the major reasons I noticed in various dryers. Again check it via the Multimeter. It should provide at least 15 Ohms resistance.

Otherwise, the heating element is bad and needs to be replaced. You can purchase a new heating element for almost $40.

2. Inspect the Thermostat

A thermostat controls and regulates the heating process in your Kenmore dryer. If it starts malfunctioning, the dryer will receive faulty commands.

Hence, it will shut down without drying your clothes. This component can be tested by the following method;

  1. Read the user manual to find out the location of the thermostat. Check it as described in the user guide.
  2. Then, check the continuity of the thermostat with the multimeter.
  3. Another way to check is by discontinuing this part.
  4. Turn OFF your dryer completely and cut down the power supply.
  5. Now, disconnect the two wires of the thermostat and join them with electrical tape.
  6. You have bypassed the thermostat by this method. Turn ON your Kenmore Elite HE3 or HE4 dryer. Put some load and run a cycle.
  7. If the dryer heats up, the thermostat was faulty and telling it not to heat up.
  8. Finally, you have to replace the thermostat if it has failed the test.

Kenmore Elite Gas Dryer Not Heating

The following tricks are exclusive for Kenmore Elite HE3 or HE4 gas dryers.

1. Check the Gas Valve Solenoid

You may have a Kenmore Elite gas dryer. It has two or more gas valve solenoid coils. These valves allow the gas to flow to the burner assembly. So, the dryer fails to heat if the valves are malfunctioning.

You can confirm it by observing the igniter. Turn ON your dryer and also the gas supply. Check if the igniter is glowing or not.

The igniter glow but goes off soon. It will not burn the gas if the valve is faulty. The simple solution is to replace both solenoid coils.

2. Check the Gas Igniter

The gas igniter burns the gas. The igniter itself can be defective. You can check its continuity through the multimeter. Replace the igniter if it is defective.

However, be sure to diagnose the faulty correctly. Otherwise, you will end up wasting your money if another component is the culprit.

3. Change the Faulty Flame Sensor

In a gas dryer, a flame sensor plays the same role as a thermostat plays in an electric dryer. So, if it is faulty, the gas will not ignite and the dryer will stop heating.

However, you need to carefully check the igniter and gas valve. Then, test the flame sensor for continuity. Replace this component to fix your dryer.

Contact the Manufacturer

If nothing works, I recommend you contact Kenmore. They do have professional technicians. Either they will help you online or will send their technician to your home.

This is a secure way to replace the faulty components of your dryer. Because you may cause another faulty if you do not understand the parts of your dryer.

Further, replacing a part such as a heating element or igniter requires skills and some knowledge.


I will answer your frequently asked questions in the following section. Feel free to ask if you have further queries regarding the Kenmore Elite dryer.

What is the capacity and size of the Kenmore Elite HE3 Dryer?

Kenmore HE3 has a 7.2 cubic feet capacity. It measures 38 inches from the bottom to the top. The dryer is 27 inches wide and 31.5 inches deep.

Can I safely fix my Kenmore Elite dryer at home?

Yes, you can fix your dryer at home. No special expertise is needed for the basic tests and troubleshooting. You should how to use a Multimeter and test the continuity. It will help you detect the real problem. However, seek a technician’s assistance in replacing complex parts.

How to access the thermal fuse on my Kenmore Elite dryer?

The thermal fuse is usually located near the heating element. Remove the exhaust duct and the rear panel. Locate the heating element which is a coil of wire. The thermal fuse is small and rectangular in shape. Two or more wires are attached to its terminal ends. Simply, disconnect the wires, take out the fuse, place the new one and connect the wires.

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Final Suggestions

Always, double-check everything before replacement. Sometimes, the user diagnoses the fault wrongly. So, replacing the wrong component will waste your money.

Therefore, you should use a working Multimeter to test every component. Also, make sure to patiently apply the fixes mentioned in this guide.

Surely, they will recover your Kenmore Elite HE3 or HE4 dryer if it has stopped heating. We will appreciate it if you give your feedback in the comment section.